Nicole Drought Launches Support Initiative on International Women’s Day

Today, on International Women’s Day, Ireland’s top female racing driver Nicole Drought has launched a support initiative to help others progress in the sport.
20 year old Róisín Sweeney from Naas will drive Nicole’s Global GT Light race car in the 2024 Irish Global Championship. Róisín is a former Motorsport Ireland Karting Champion and has just won the Motorsport Ireland Student Sport Ireland karting drivers championship, representing ITC Carlow, where she studies Aerospace Engineering.

Nicole Drought Launches Support Initiative on International Women's Day

About Nicole Drought:
Nicole Drought, from Roscrea in Tipperary, is Ireland’s top female racing driver. In 2016, she became the first woman to take a win in the Irish Touring Car Championship. She has subsequently raced in Global GT Lights, Stryker Sportscars, Historics, C1 Endurance Series, Clubsport Enduro and the Britcar Endurance Championship. Nicole is the only Irish Ambassador for the International Sean Edwards Foundation, with whom she tested a Porsche Supercup in Le Castellet in 2016. She is also a double Class 1A Endurance Trial Champion, having taken the title in 2018 and successfully defended it in 2019, with six wins from six starts.
In May 2019, Nicole became the first woman to win in the UK C1 Endurance series, when she partnered Colin Lewis to victory in a 4 hour race at Anglesey in Wales. In 2020, she became a three time class winner in the Britcar Endurance Series, and scored another win on her return to the series in July 2021, when she took the flag at the Silverstone Grand Prix track for the Motus One team.
In August 2019, Nicole drove a Formula 1 car at the Mondello Park Historic Festival, demonstrating John Campion’s ex Derek Daly March 811 for CJJ Motorsports (above) and in February 2020 she travelled to Palm Beach in Florida to drive the team’s Jordan 192 F1 car. in November 2021, Nicole made her rally debut. taking a class win in the Killarney Historic Rally in a Mini Cooper S.
In January 2023 Nicole became the first woman to win in Open Clubman in the Irish Rallycross Championship, when she took her Clio 172 to victory, also clinching second in the Championship too.She susequently won the 2023 Championship and currently leads the 2024 Championship. In 2023, she compated in various UK based championships as well as the Irish Rallycross series, crossing the line first an incredible eleven times.
while taking multiple wins in EnduroKA and Clubsport Trophy, and taking a podium on her Trackday Trophy debut in November.
For 2024, Nicole will compete in the IRX Open Clubman Series, the MSVR Trackday Trophy, MSVR Trackday Championship as well as selected rounds of the EnduroKA series and Clubsport Enduro Championship..
Nicole is an Ambassador for Joe Mallon Motors, Motorsport Ireland, WISP, and Siltex Safety Solutions.
Image from Michael Chester

Nicole has just won the Open Clubman Rallycross Championship for the second year in a row and is about to embark on a full MSVR Trackday Championship season in the UK, at the wheel of a modified Honda Civic.
Leo Nulty Promotions, who manage Nicole, have also brokered a deal which sees Naas company VEI Global, along with their partners Cradlepoint, backing the karting graduate for her debut car racing season. .As part of this groundbreaking partnership, VEI Global and Cradlepoint have equipped Roisin Sweeney’s racecar with a state-of-the-art mobile connectivity device. This advanced technology enables real-time tracking of Roisin’s car and provides uninterrupted and seamless connectivity to her car, as well as comprehensive data analysis on various performance metrics, including speed, acceleration, and handling.

Nicole Drought Launches Support Initiative on International Women's Day

Róisín Sweeney with VEI Directors Conor Kileen (left) and Lloyd O’Rourke at the announcement of their partnership today. Image from Celtic Photography.

“Róisín Sweeney represents the epitome of determination, passion, and talent, embodying the spirit of female empowerment and excellence. As she launches her motor racing career, VEI Global, together with our partners in Cradlepoint, stand by her as a supporter and believe in her ability to thrive in this demanding and exhilarating sport,” said Lloyd O’Rourke, Co-CEO at VEI Global.

“As a sponsor, VEI Global is dedicated to nurturing young sporting talent and supporting individuals like Roisin as they pursue their dreams and carve out successful careers in their chosen fields. This partnership signifies VEI Globals’ commitment to fostering innovation, excellence, and determination in sport,” said Conor Killeen, Co-CEO at VEI Global.

Nicole Drought Launches Support Initiative on International Women's Day

Róisín in the Global GT Light race car with VEI Directors Conor Kileen and Lloyd O’Rourke, and the tracking device they have fitted to her car.

“We are thrilled to support Róisín Sweeney as she embarks on her exciting journey in motor racing,” said Sarah Ralston-Good, Partner Business Lead at Cradlepoint. “This partnership represents a significant step forward in empowering young female talents who are blazing a trail in sporting arenas around the world. We are particularly excited to provide her with our cutting-edge mobile connectivity device, enabling her to achieve new heights of success on the racetrack.

Róisín Sweeney expressed her gratitude for VEI Global’s sponsorship, stating, “I am very grateful to VEI Global and Cradlepoint for their support and belief in my abilities. With their backing, I am empowered to pursue my dreams and strive for success on the racetrack.”

Nicole Drought Launches Support Initiative on International Women's Day

Roisin Sweeney along with Roisin Kilcoyne, Nikki van Loon, Allison Doyle from VEI Global, and Nicole Drought at Mondello Park, Kildare at the announcement of their partnership on International Women’s Day. Credit- Celtic Photography

Nicole Drought “I have been lucky enough to receive a lot of help during my career and it’s great to be able to help someone else now. I first met Róisín a few years ago at the Formula Female One Lap Challenge, where Ireland’s top Sportswomen came to Mondello Park to take me on in a BMW M2. Róisin came down to spectate and she had just persuaded her parents to buy her a Junior kart. She has progressed massively since then and I was delighted when she managed to sew up the MI Tillotson T4 Championship in 2022. The Global GT series is very competitive but with a good testing programme I have no doubt she will be right in the mix in 2024!”

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